Saturday, 26 September 2009

Em Israel, casamento interracial e consdierado traicao


In Israel, intermarriage viewed as treason
Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 25 September 2009

A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them.

The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate -- and little discussed -- initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organizations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.

In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.

Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel's ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behavior as a threat to the state's Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with "national treason."

Since the state's founding in 1948, analysts have noted, a series of legal and administrative measures have been taken by Israel to limit the possibilities of close links developing between Jewish and Arab citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population.

Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to become familiarized with each other. Even in the handful of "mixed cities," Arab residents are usually confined to separate neighborhoods.

In addition, civil marriage is banned in Israel, meaning that in the small number of cases where Jews and Arabs want to wed, they can do so only by leaving the country for a ceremony abroad. The marriage is recognized on the couple's return.

Yuval Yonay, a sociologist at Haifa University, said the number of interracial marriages was "too small to be studied." "Separation between Jews and Arabs is so ingrained in Israeli society, it is surprising that anyone manages to escape these central controls."

The team in Petah Tikva, a Jewish city of 200,000 residents, was created in direct response to news that two Jewish girls, aged 17 and 19, were accompanying a group of young Arab men when they allegedly beat a Jewish man, Leonard Karp, to death last month on a Tel Aviv beach. The older girl was from Petah Tikva.

The girls' involvement with the Arab youths has revived general concern that a once-firm taboo against interracial dating is beginning to erode among some young people.

In sentiments widely shared, Hezi Hakak, a spokesman for Petah Tikva municipality, said "Russian girls" -- young Jewish women whose parents arrived in Israel over the past two decades, since the collapse of the former Soviet Union -- were particularly vulnerable to the attention of Arab men.

Dr. Yonay said Russian women were less closed to the idea of relationships with Arab men because they "did not undergo the religious and Zionist education" to which more established Israeli Jews were subject.

Hakak said the municipality had created a hotline that parents and friends of the Jewish women could use to inform on them.

"We can't tell the girls what to do but we can send a psychologist to their home to offer them and their parents advice," he said.

Motti Zaft, the deputy mayor, told the Ynet website that the municipality was also cracking down on city homeowners who illegally subdivide apartments to rent them cheaply to single Arab men looking for work in the Tel Aviv area. He estimated that several hundred Arab men had moved into the city as a result.

Petah Tikva's hostility to Arab men mixing with local Jewish women is shared by other communities.

In Pisgat Zeev, a settlement of 40,000 Jews, some 35 Jewish men are reported to belong to a patrol known as "Fire for Judaism" that tries to stop interracial dating.

One member, who identified himself as Moshe to The Jerusalem Post newspaper, said: "Our goal is to be in contact with these girls and try to explain to them the dangers of what they're getting themselves into. In the last 10 years, 60 girls from Pisgat Zeev have gone into [Palestinian] villages [in the West Bank]. And most of them aren't heard from after that."

He denied that violence or threats were used against Arab men.

Last year, the municipality of Kiryat Gat, a town of 50,000 Jews in southern Israel, launched a program in schools to warn Jewish girls of the dangers of dating local Bedouin men. The girls were shown a video titled Sleeping with the Enemy, which describes mixed couples as an "unnatural phenomenon."

Haim Shalom, head of the municipality's welfare department, is filmed saying: "The girls, in their innocence, go with the exploitative Arab." A police representative also warns that the Bedouin men's "goal is to take advantage of the girls. There is no element of love or an innocent friendly relationship here."

In 2004, posters sprang up all over the northern town of Safed warning Jewish women that dating Arab men would lead to "beatings, hard drugs, prostitution and crime."

Safed's chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, told a local newspaper that the "seducing" of Jewish girls was "another form of war" by Arab men.

Both Kiryat Gat and Safed's campaigns were supported by a religious organization called Yad L'achim, which runs an anti-assimilation team publicly dedicated to "saving" Jewish women.

According to its website, the organization receives more than 100 calls a month about Jewish women living with Arab men, both in Israel and the West Bank. It launches "military-like rescues [of the women] from hostile Arab villages" in coordination with the police and army.

"The Jewish soul is a precious, all-too-rare resource, and we are not prepared to give up on even a single one," says the website.

Yad L'achim's founder, Rabbi Shlomo Dov Lifschitz, is quoted on the site saying: "People must understand that Jewish-Arab marriages are part of the larger Israeli-Arab conflict. ... They [Arab men] see it as their goal to marry them [Jewish women] and ensure that their children aren't raised as Jews. This is their revenge against the Jewish people. They feel that if they can't defeat us in war, they can wipe us out this way."

The degree of general opposition in Israel to interracial marriage was suggested by a government-backed television ad campaign earlier this month that urged Israeli Jews to inform on relatives abroad who were in danger of marrying a non-Jew. The ads were hastily withdrawn by surprised Israeli officials after many US Jews took offense.

In her book Birthing the Nation, Rhoda Kanaaneh, a Middle East scholar at New York University, points out that "politicians frequently attack 'peace' or 'dialogue' programs for promoting miscegenation" in fear that it will lead to Jewish assimilation.

She also notes that Israel's adoption and surrogacy laws require that adoptive parents be of the same ethnic group as the biological mother.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is

A version of this article originally appeared in
The National, published in Abu Dhabi.

Cape Town para hospedar Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival


Cape Town to host Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival
Press release, Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival, 25 September 2009

Channel 4 Network SA, a Cape Town-based international news network and syndication company, will be hosting a Palestinian film festival from 2-4 October 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The objectives of the festival are to educate the public and create a general awareness around the situation in Palestine to foster a culture of human rights, respect for human dignity and justice for all. The Palestinian struggle denotes the ultimate struggle of the human spirit's will to survive; it is a cry to the world of nations for the rediscovery of their humanity; a battle for the soul of humanity. The world has a responsibility to honor its commitment to its promise "never again." This Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival is aimed at honoring that commitment.

Channel 4 Network SA is excited to announce that former US congresswoman and 2009 US presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will be the special guest at the festival. McKinney gained prominence when she was arrested by the Israeli occupation force navy trying to break the siege on Gaza. Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and board member of the Free Gaza Movement, Huwaida Arraf will also honor the festival with her presence. Several local dignitaries, including secretary-general of COSATU, Zwelinzima Vavi (invited), prominent academic Dr. Virginia Tilley, Dr. Shabir Wadee and many more will also grace the occasion, delivering lectures and presentations. The internationally-acclaimed Act of State: 1967-2007 photo exhibition by Tel Aviv-based "visual philosopher" Ariella Azoulay will be on display. In addition, a kuffiyeh picket in support of the Palestinian struggle will take place. McKinney will partake in an olive tree-planting/sod-turning ceremony, releasing white doves, twinning with Gaza City, where a similar event will take place as a symbolic gesture of peace. Also other exciting events will be taking place throughout the weekend.

The festival's main attraction however, will be its excellent array of documentaries on show. Channel 4 Network is proud to announce that four documentaries will premiere (shown for the very first time) at the festival, namely, Coca Cola & Israel: Is Not The Real Thing (first locally produced film by Channel 4 Network SA, director Fahrie Hassan); Tiger by the Tail (by British director Robert Sutcliffe), To Gaza With Love (Director Aki Nawaz) and the contribution from the US, Operation Small Axe (Block Report Radio). Another scoop is the acclaimed DEFAMATION, an expose on anti-Semitism, which screened recently at the Encounters Film festival. Also to be screened are 6 Floors to Hell, Zainab's Story, Deir Yassin Remembered, Demolitions, Offside and acclaimed documentary filmmaker of Iron Wall fame Muhammed Alatar's latest production, Jerusalem: East Side Story and many more.

The festival venue is The Joseph Stone Auditorium, Klipfontein Rd, Athlone, Cape Town.

For more information visit

Prisao de criancas Palestinianas aumenta


Numero de prisoes de criancas Palestinianas aumenta

Soldados israelenses prenderam um militante palestiniano


Israeli forces arrest anti-wall organizer
Press Release, Addameer, 25 September 2009

Mohammad Othman (Stop the Wall)
Addameer expresses its concern at the arrest and detention of human rights defender and activist Mohammad Othman on 22 September 2009. Mohammad, 33, originally from Jayyus village, is a human rights activist and a volunteer with the grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign.

At 8:00 am, on 22 September 2009, Mohammad arrived at the Allenby Bridge Crossing. He was returning home, to the West Bank, via Jordan, from his travels in Norway where he attended several speaking events and advocacy meetings. At the Israeli border control, Mohammad's passport was taken away, and he was asked to wait on the side. Mohammad waited until 10pm at the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing without any information for the reasons of his detention. At 10pm, he was arrested and transferred to Huwwara provisional detention center, located on the outskirts of Nablus. Two days later, on 24 September, he received a visit from an International Committee of the Red Cross delegate and was allowed to see a lawyer. Since the moment of his arrest, he has not been either questioned or interrogated once. Mohammad is due to appear before the military court on Tuesday, 29 September 2009.

Addameer believes that Mohammad Othman's arrest is related to his human rights activism. In the last few years, Mohammad has been extremely active in his lobbying and advocacy efforts by briefing activists and officials, locally and internationally, on Israel's illegal construction of the Apartheid Wall, informing the media on daily developments and monitoring human rights violations in wall-affected villages.

This is not the first time that the Israeli authorities have attempted to deter Mohammad from his human rights work. On 18 February 2009, during a night incursion and mass arrest of youth in Jayyus village, located in Qalqiliya governorate, the Israeli soldiers raided several houses, including that of Mohammad. They confiscated documents and information related to his advocacy against the Annexation Wall. In an interview given to Stop the Wall on 15 June 2009, Mohammad stated: "in my house, they took all the information about the Wall, information that had been collected from 2002-2009, CDs, boxes, pictures."

Addameer stresses that Mohammad's case is not isolated. In a report ("Repression allowed, Resistance denied") jointly published with Stop the Wall last July, Addameer argues that arrests of demonstrators and human rights defenders is a strategy designed to stifle activism and deter Palestinians from participating and organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall, as a form of resistance to land confiscation. Collective punishment, including night raids and curfews, as well as individual threats of detention are also often applied. There is strong evidence that the Israeli Occupying Forces target the more active youth for arrest, such as the members of youth committees, but also members of popular committees, in order to break up protests and create disunity.

Most recently, in a similar event, on 20 July 2009, Mohammad Srour, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Nilin, another village affected by the construction of the Annexation Wall, was detained by Israeli border officials while crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan and taken to Ofer prison for interrogation. He was released on bail three days later. Although Srour was not charged, the courts said they were likely going to charge him, but they did not say on what grounds he was to be charged, or when. No court date has been set for his reappearance. In its final report submitted to the Human Rights Council, the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict expressed its concern that his detention "may have been a consequence of his appearance before the Mission." Indeed, on 6 July 2009, together with an Israeli activist, Srour testified before the Mission in Geneva and described the fatal shooting of two Nilin residents, by Israeli forces during a demonstration against the conflict in Gaza in Nilin on 28 December 2008. This arrest, like the arrest of Mohammad Othman, is an indication of the increasing oppression of Palestinian communities engaging in ongoing protest against the Wall. Addameer is alarmed at the growing number of arrests of human rights defenders and protestors against the Apartheid Wall and stresses that such arrests are in violation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and infringe on everyone's "right to freedom of opinion and expression" and the "right to freedom of assembly."

Addameer strongly condemns Mohammad Othman's arbitrary arrest and detention, and calls for his release. At the same time, Addameer reiterates its call to establish real mechanisms to protect the popular resistance against the Annexation Wall and their right to freedom of assembly.

Related Links

Friday, 25 September 2009

a escolha do Obama

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Obama's Choice

After decades of deceit, Obamas promise of 'Change' came as a burst of fresh air.

By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai

Why do I have this feeling that we have been here and done all this before? I know, I know. This US President is different, as different from his predecessors as a sunny day is distinguishable from a dark, oppressive night.
But watching Barack Obama shake hands with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York this week and smile for the waiting cameras, I had this weird feeling I have seen it all before.

But haven’t we indeed all seen this before? This is what we have repeatedly witnessed since Bill Clinton proudly presented Yasser Arafat and Isaac Rabin before the world on the White House lawns in 1993. And every time the US leaders did so, they have generated tremendous hopes and hype everywhere, including in the Middle East. And every time those hopes have come crashing down with progressive ferocity, giving way to greater frustration, anger and bitterness that have consumed generations in the Arab world and beyond. 

As Obama posed for the cameras with Abbas and Netanyahu flanking him, hundreds of millions of people across the world -- and not just Arabs and Muslims -- asked themselves: Is this US President going to create more pointless photo opportunities and say all the right things without actually meaning and believing in them like his predecessors? Or is he going to be different as he has often promised and walk the talk for a change?

The answer to this question can be answered by no one but Obama himself. And he can do so not by more rhetoric but action on the ground. We are long past the time for rhetoric and sweet sounding speeches, thank you very much! 

I have been following Obama since long before he formally unveiled his impossible dream of a different America and a better world, at a low-key rally one wintry morning near Illinois nearly three years ago.

As regular readers would know, I have been an incorrigible admirer of this extraordinary product of extraordinary circumstances. Some find it odd that even as I have remained critical of the US policies and its double standards in the Middle East, I haven’t stopped singing Obama’s praises. 

But I am not alone in this hopeless admiration of the man. He has wowed just about everyone and conquered hearts and minds across the world including those of Muslims with his bold vision and ‘audacity of hope’.

After decades of deceit, double standards and injustice in Washington, his words and his uplifting promise of ‘Change We Can’ came as a refreshing burst of fresh air. His message of hope touched just about everyone. 

Even though he is yet to deliver on most of his promises, he has already turned his country and its policies around. While under his predecessor, the US abdicated its responsibilities and walked out of its global commitments, under this President it is offering leadership to the rest of the world, from fighting climate change to pushing for total disarmament to dealing with the global economic crisis. 

Just look at the way Obama has in one bold stroke put an end to America’s ridiculous fantasy of the missile defense shield, a relic of the Cold War era, making the NATO irrelevant and our world a more secure place to live in. No wonder the Russian bear is falling over itself in gratitude. He has boldly ventured where none of his predecessors have dared to tread in their first year in office.

He is the first US leader who has had the audacity to identify the source of America’s troubles with the Islamic world and is trying to address it.

George Mitchell was dispatched to the Middle East during Obama’s first week in the White House. The former senator has spent most of his time in the region over the past several months meeting Palestinians and Israelis but clearly he has made no headway. 

The Palestinians and Israelis, and with them the rest of the world, remain where they had been six months ago -- or six decades ago. But why blame the Palestinians? How can we even put the Palestinians and Israelis in the same bracket?

The poor Palestinians have always been ready to talk with anyone and anywhere, even though they have perpetually been at the receiving end.

The world continues to urge them to offer more concessions and make compromises, even though they have nothing left to offer any more. No land, no home, no country! In case we forgot, they are the victim here. They have nothing to offer any more. They can do little to help further the so-called peace process. The ball lies in Israel’s court. It has been there forever.

The real challenge to Obama, America and the entire civilized world remains Israel and its increasingly intransigent and irresponsible leadership. Netanyahu is even more unreasonable and stubborn than his predecessors.

Unlike his predecessors, Bibi doesn’t even pretend to be interested in inane terms like dialogue, peace process, and just peace. He wants to talk alright -- but not about Israel’s stealing of Palestinian land or its persecution of Palestinians. The only issue he is interested in is the “clear and present danger” from Iran’s non-existent nukes.

According to Israel, the only way to promote the Middle East peace is by bombing Iran back to the Stone Age. And it wants the US to do this noble service to mankind, just as it did in the case of Iraq, or before that, in Afghanistan. Forget Palestine. Forget the Middle East and forget the peace process! All that matters is the safety and security of the great state of Israel.

Now it is up to Obama if he wants to make history, as we all once believed he would, or end up as a footnote just as many of his predecessors have. He has a choice to let the status quo in the Middle East continue and stand and stare as Israel’s cat-and-mouse games inflame the Middle East making America a rather inviting target.

This is a more tempting and easier option and this is what his predecessors and rest of the West have done all these years. Or he could do the right thing and save the world – and save his legacy and vision of a better and just world. There’s no time to lose anymore, Mr. Obama! The world is getting impatient for the change you promised us all. And you mustn’t and can’t afford to fail us!

- Aijaz Zaka Syed is Opinion Editor of Khaleej Times. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

ORIENTE MÉDIO: A Palestina Livre passa pela solidariedade internacional

fonte:Somos Todos Palestinos

Comitê de Solidariedade inaugura na Cisjordânia escola profissionalizante com cursos

Khader Othman

O COMITÊ Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino materializamos seu amor pela Palestina no dia 14 de agosto através da inauguração de escola técnica na cidade de Beit-ur, Cisjordânia, uma instituição pública e gratuita com cursos profissionalizantes para os palestinos. Longe dos discursos teóricos, longe de gritos e ofensas à invasão sionista do Estado de Israel na Palestina, transformamos as lágrimas pela situação atual do povo palestino em esperança promissora. A solidariedade, para ser efetiva, tem que ser concreta. Transformamos nosso apoio à resistência nacional palestina em ação sólida, viva, cheia de amor.

Os “palestinos na diáspora” – um grupo de brasileiros de origem Palestina –, dominados pela justiça, assumiram seu dever cívico perante a Pátria- mãe e consolidaram este projeto. Sabemos ser impossível derrotar a ocupação israelense somente pela crítica. É urgente e necessário criar condições para o nosso povo resistir e continuar lutando em nosso país. Todos os meios de lutas são possibilidades para acabar com essa odiada invasão sionista do Estado de Israel e juntar os
trapos dessa Pátria para tentar construir a Palestina, uma pátria unida.

Beit-ur é uma cidade muito pobre e carente, como outras na Cisjordânia, mas agora seu cotidiano será transformado com a chegada da escola técnica. São 150 vagas que possibilitarão uma formação qualificada, proporcionando assim uma vida digna e de trabalho honesto para palestinos que, daqui a dois anos, sustentarão suas famílias.

São oficinas técnicas, divididas entre alunos femininos e masculinos, com a oferta de seis cursos profissionalizantes. São oficinas de Cabeleireiros e Beleza; de Corte e Costura, Bordados e Modelagem; de Informática; de Esquadrias de Alumínio; de Sistemas de Calefação e Refrigeração; e de Ferragem, Esquadrias, Cercas e Proteções.

No dia da inauguração da escola, colocamos uma faixa que ornamentava o prédio, com a linda poesia de Mahmoud Darwish:
Os grãos de uma espiga de trigo
Espalhados aqui e acolá
Enchem todo o vale de espigas

Este é o nosso lema. Nossa ideia não é isolada, mas uma construção coletiva em busca da libertação da Palestina. Foram três anos de trabalho, um acúmulo de esforços e sonhos de muitos militantes. Concluímos as negociações com a adoção do projeto pelo Ministério de Trabalho da Autoridade Nacional da Palestina.

Na inauguração, contamos com a presença de várias personalidades palestinas e membros da Autoridade Nacional e, em especial, de Ligia Maria Scherer, chefe da Delegação Especial do Brasil na Palestina, com Escritório-sede na cidade de Ramallah. Lígia aplaudiu a ideia e discursou para os presentes relatando as várias obras que o governo brasileiro está executando
nos territórios palestinos. Como nos ensinou Darwish: estamos plantando... o vale está cheio de espigas.

Unidade da esquerda

Outra coisa que me chamou bastante atenção nessa viagem para a Palestina foi o intenso movimento dos intelectuais e do povo em geral em torno da unificação da esquerda como uma resposta viável e prática para a crise interna. Somente a unificação das forças progressistas apontará uma saída para a crise que o processo de paz sofre nas mãos do imperialismo internacional.

Fruto desse esforço foi a conferência internacional “Experiências de unificação e renovação da esquerda na Palestina e no mundo”, realizada em Ramallah entre os dias 26 a 28 de junho, onde muitos militantes e intelectuais progressistas e de esquerda trocaram experiências e contribuíram para o amadurecimento da ideia de unificação. O processo de unificar a esquerda ganhou fôlego forte e esse tema predomina o debate entre os palestinos.

A Palestina que queremos

A população Palestina é de 11,2 milhões de pessoas. Atualmente, 5,2 milhões vivem no seu solo pátrio, nos territórios de Gaza e Cisjordânia, de forma subumana, desprovidas de direitos básicos, como acesso a hospitais, transportes, escolas, universidades, empregos e o direito mais elementar: o de ir e vir. Outros 6 milhões de palestinos vivem como refugiados em ouros países, sonhando com o dia de retornar.

O povo palestino deseja a paz e sua forma de defesa é a intifada, um posicionamento de libertação no qual são utilizados paus, pedras e seus corpos contra todo o armamento sofisticado do exército israelense apoiado pelo imperialismo estadunidense. Defendemos a Palestina democrática e laica, em seu solo pátrio histórico, com o retorno dos refugiados palestinos, e Jerusalém como sua capital, onde possam viver em harmonia e fraternidade cristãos, muçulmanos e judeus, como era antes de 1947.

Os Comitês de Solidariedade cumprem o importante papel de divulgadores da causa palestina. Através de palestras, debates e eventos, propagamos informações sobre a luta de resistência do povo palestino.

No Brasil existem muitos comitês de solidariedade realizando um belo trabalho. Desde 2000, nosso Comitê Catarinense contribui para que a Palestina esteja presente nos corações e mentes dos brasileiros, povo este tão solidário à causa palestina, causa esta da humanidade.

São 62 anos de luta em defesa da Palestina livre. Convocamos a todos para, no dia 29 de novembro, Dia Internacional de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino, declararem-se palestinos, pois somos todos brasileiros, somos todos palestinos em busca da justiça.

Em 29 de novembro de 1947, a ONU, através da resolução 181, impôs a partilha do solo pátrio da Palestina para a criação do Estado de Israel. O restabelecimento da Palestina é uma tarefa de todos nós.

Khader Othman é do Comitê Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino.

Bansky's Wall Art

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Max Boot: Propagandista e apologista de crimes de guerra

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Max Boot: Propagandist and Apologist for War Crimes

Boot's commentary amounts to vulgar apologetics for egregious war crimes.

By Max Kantar

The recent publication of the UNHRC's report on Israel's December-January assault on the Gaza Strip, also known as the Goldstone Report, has elicited some rather hysterical reactions from Israel's leading apologists. Perhaps among the most desperate of the attempts to deflect legitimate criticism of Israeli war crimes is an article entitled, "The Goldstone Report," [1] written by Max Boot. Boot is an award winning author, distinguished journalist, and served as an editor for the Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal during the 1990s. He is currently a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations.

In his article, "The Goldstone Report," published under his daily blog at, Boot repeatedly struggles to divert attention from the overwhelming amount of documentary evidence compiled in the UNHRC report (and in other relevant independent findings as well) which implicates the Israeli government in a large number of war crimes committed throughout the duration of "Operation Cast Lead."

Not only is Boot's commentary extremely superficial and desperate as an analysis of the Goldstone Report, but it is indeed contemptuous in regard to the intellectual and moral capacity of his readers. It would seem that responding to or refuting such intellectual defecation might suggest that reasonable arguments have been put forth by Boot, giving his nonsense some sort of legitimacy. Nevertheless, this author found it to be even more maddening to allow such vulgarities and perversions to go unchecked. What follows is a brief exposure, step by step, of the bankruptcy of Mr. Boot's analysis.

Israeli Repression of Dissent

While he criticizes the mentioning of Israeli repression of dissent during "Operation Cast Lead," Boot makes no attempt to refute the fact reported in the Goldstone Report that 715 people, mostly Israeli-Arab citizens (as well as some non-citizen, Palestinian "residents" of occupied East Jerusalem) were arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli government for exercising their rights to free speech. Instead he dismisses the protestors as "unruly" (why were they unruly?) and points his finger at the lack of free speech in neighboring Arab states. It is true that the Arab states are much less open and permissive than is the case in Israeli proper (excluding the occupied territories where Israel's human rights record is by far the worst in the region) but it is unclear to the reader why this has anything to do with Israeli state repression of dissent. At any rate, Israel's imprisonment of 715 dissenters during its attack on Gaza was hardly a focal point in the Goldstone Report. Boot simply is attempting to take attention away from the extensive documentation of Israeli war crimes by making ideological assertions about "Israeli democracy," appealing to brainless readers who are searching not for truth, but for empty rationalizations aimed at preserving a benevolent image of The Holy State.

Boot then goes on to make apologetics for the fact that Israel is currently holding, according to the Goldstone Report, 8,100 Palestinian political prisoners in Israel, including nearly 400 children. Boot claims that unlike Egypt and Saudi Arabia, "all" of Israel's Palestinian "prisoners are behind bars because they are suspected of involvement in terrorism." Where is Boot's evidence for this claim? Of course, it's ridiculous and nothing more than a purely ideological statement. There are literally thousands of pages of human rights reports--many from Israeli groups--documenting the unlawful detention of nonviolent Palestinian activists and other civilians who took no part in any hostilities. Israel also routinely kidnaps, imprisons, and tortures Palestinian youth who are often arrested for throwing pebbles at heavily armed occupying forces.

Furthermore, it is in violation of international law to imprison children in adult prisons. It is against international law to torture prisoners. It is also illegal under international law (the Fourth Geneva Convention) to transport prisoners to prisons or detention centers outside of the occupied territory in which the arrest takes place. Boot also forgets to mention that under international law, people living under foreign military occupation have the right to armed resistance against the occupiers and such resistance, if targeted at the occupying forces, is not "terrorism."

Readers might also recall as to how the South African Apartheid regime also called all of its Black prisoners "terrorists" or "suspected terrorists." Nelson Mandela was one of them. Historically, all tyrannical regimes make such claims to justify their repression of dissent and legitimate resistance. Why is Israel any different? Why would rational people expect it to act differently? Why are the Palestinian grievances not creditable or legitimate?

At any rate, B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and Amnesty International, among other countless other human rights groups, have extensively and exhaustively documented Israel's illegal imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians who have nothing to do with carrying out terrorism or conspiring to carry out terrorism against Israel. The fact that Boot spends so much time musing on the issue of prisoners is simply a reflection of his desperation; the report was not even about the issue of prisoners.

Targeting Civilians

Boot dismisses the Goldstone Reports' criticizing of Israeli attacks against Hamas civil society infrastructure, such as the legislative council building, on the grounds that the allied forces attacked the Reichstag during the Second World War. Why go back to WWII for a comparison? What if the Palestinians bombed the Israeli Knesset? What would Boot think of that? Would he proclaim it to be legitimate on the grounds that the allies bombed the Reichstag? What if Iraqis bombed the halls of Congress in Washington DC? Would that have been legitimate on the same grounds? The truth is, that even so, the Palestinians would've had a much stronger case for doing so: they are being militarily occupied and have been for over forty years. Millions of Palestinians are also being forcibly kept from returning to their homes.

Of course, no party has a right to attack civilian objects or target civilians. Boot and people like him dismiss international law only when politically or ideologically serviceable. It takes real discipline not to recognize such hypocrisy.

But why should one limit their criticism of the Goldstone Report for its denunciation of the Israeli targeting of Hamas' legislative buildings? What about the UN schools Israel attacked, bombed, and dropped white phosphorous on? What about the children who were literally incinerated by white phosphorous dropped from the skies by the IAF? What about the scores of mosques it attacked? What about the ambulances? What about the health clinics? What about the civilian homes? What about the women and children holding a white flag whom IDF soldiers gunned down? What about the precise drone strikes on Palestinian civilians? What about the bombings of schoolchildren during the middle of the day as classes were letting out and children were walking in the streets? All of these instances were documented in the report. Were these legitimate by Boots' standards? Should international law be dismissed in each of these cases, too?

Targeting Civilian Police Officers

Boot also ridicules the Goldstone Reports' conclusion that Israeli attacks and killings of Palestinian civilian police officers were unlawful, but he gives no reason as to why such attacks should be considered legitimate. In fact, those police officers were the ones responsible for maintaining law and order in Gaza and actually arrested several rouge terrorists firing rockets into Israel during the ceasefire period, which Hamas scrupulously observed, as was documented by an official Israeli report on the ceasefire period that preceded Israel's attack on Gaza. [2]

Anyhow, we do not need to debate the legitimacy of Israel's targeted killings of civilian police officers in Gaza because there is a unanimous consensus among experts in international law and human rights groups. Readers of The Palestine Chronicle informed of this [3] back in January:

In the opening days of Israel's aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, its main targets were police stations and officers. For civilian police officers to be considered legitimate military targets, they must be directly engaged in hostilities, in this case, towards Israel. No evidence has been presented by Israel, or anyone else, that even reasonably suggests that the police officers in Gaza fall into this category. Therefore, the police officers that were targeted and murdered by Israel were clearly civilians: not lawful military targets.

Here are a few authoritative sources cited at the time [4] which articulate the illegality of such strikes:

"The First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions establishes two conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a legitimate military target: it must effectively contribute to military action and its total destruction or partial neutralization offers a clear military advantage." - B'Tselem, Dec. 31, 2008

"Police were not combatants and could not represent legitimate targets unless actively engaged in was Israel's burden of proof to show [that] the police they targeted were, indeed, Hamas militants." - Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch (Middle East & North Africa Division), January 7, 2009

"Police members who do not take part in any hostilities are not considered legitimate military targets under international humanitarian law and must not be deliberately targeted." - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, December 28, 2008

"Police stations, police officers and law enforcement officials are classified under the international law as civilians, and targeting them as such while they were not engaged in military action constitutes a violation of the international law." - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, December 27, 2008.

"[The Israeli Air Force] bombed the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth." - B'Tselem, December 31, 2008

It Was a Massacre, Not a War

We might also take note that the Goldstone Report is entirely consistent with all of the other reports regarding Israel's attack on Gaza. The world's leading human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch - groups that are quite independent of constraints from either side--issued reports well before the UN report was published and had eerily similar findings. A whole slew of local and regional rights groups, including many Israeli groups, also reached the same conclusions. Are we honestly supposed to believe that along with the UN, every human rights group in the world is simply anti-Semitic, bent on defaming Israel for its own sake?

It is also important for serious people to be clear about what happened in Gaza. It was not a "war" or "an armed conflict." There were virtually no battles or military showdowns between Hamas militants and the IDF. All one has to do is take a look at what Israeli soldiers are coming out and saying now in, Breaking the Silence. [5] In Breaking the Silence, Israeli soldiers talk about how they encountered virtually no armed resistance during the ground invasion of Gaza during "Operation Cast Lead."

Commanders warned soldiers about "suicide bombers," "snipers," and "women carrying explosives" but according to the testimonies of soldiers, "none of [these reports] ever materialized" and soldiers "never ran into any" such people. In fact, some Israeli soldiers were so intent on fighting and so disappointed of the lack thereof that, according to one testimony, "One guy said he just couldn't finish this operation without killing someone. So he killed someone...."

Soldiers testified to "all [the] destruction, all [the] fire at innocents...the hatred and the joy of killing...There's nothing to hold you back. They're just Arabs." Many soldiers were emphatic about the "tremendous" and "insane" amount of "fire power" employed by the IDF and how there were "no innocents," when it came to shooting people, that they were given permission to open fire "even at most people who definitely aren't terrorists."

Another testimony noted that entire neighborhoods were totally flattened without regard for civilian life and property. "What is a suspect spot? It means you decided it was suspect and could take out all your rage at it." Soldiers were ordered by their superiors to specifically "target mosques" and to shoot at everyone, "even an old woman--take her out."

Israeli warplanes flew more than 3,000 flights over Gaza in the course of twenty-two days and not one aircraft was downed, damaged, or even scratched. Soldiers noted that the destruction in Gaza "was on a totally different scale" than anything "previously known," that "the ground was....constantly shaking" from all of the incessant Israeli fire and bombing.

Every independent report that has surfaced since "Operation Cast Lead" illustrates how virtually every single piece of infrastructure and every population center that the IDF targeted was a civilian object or civilian center. Out of all of the exhaustive research, study, fieldwork, interviews, and documentation, no independent report has found any of the Israeli propaganda lines to be true. None of the ambulances or hospitals were hiding Hamas fighters; none of the schools were being used to launch attacks on Israel; none of the mosques were hiding weapons; no evidence was ever found that suggested that Hamas fighters used civilians as human shields, which was the main Israeli claim to justify its indiscriminate killings, a justification which even if it was true--which it isn't--wouldn't rise up to the standards of the international laws of war. In fact, each study has revealed that the exact opposite was true, that it was Israeli soldiers who systematically used Palestinian civilians as human shields, occupying their homes and shooting people from the cover of civilians and civilian homes. Soldiers have since testified as to the extensive and quite diverse use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in Breaking the Silence reports.

Finally, let's look at the results of what happened. According to rigorous studies--studies which documented by name and legal status, each person who was killed--carried out by The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights [6] as well as by the Israeli group, B'Tselem, [7] roughly 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Israel's twenty-two day assault, overwhelmingly civilians. In fact, if we accept basic principles of international law and count the civilian police officers in Gaza as civilians, then the percentage of civilian deaths among Palestinians in Gaza reaches upwards of 85%, literally. On the Israeli side, thirteen people were killed, just three of whom were civilians, and at least three others of the thirteen were killed by friendly fire in Gaza. So we have roughly 1,000 Palestinian civilians killed versus three Israeli civilians killed. Including all deaths, the ratio is more than 100-1. No matter how you break it down, the only way one could characterize what happened is by calling it a massacre, plain and simple.

And as for those Palestinian fighters or "militants" whom everybody seems to agree are worthy of receiving an automatic death sentence from the Israeli military machine, we might do well to recall the timely words of British Parliamentarian, Gerald Kaufman (whose extended family was largely exterminated by the Nazis) who ridiculed Israeli self-congratulation over its killing of supposed Palestinian militants by saying that "I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants."

The Comparison with WWII

Boot is quite right when he notes that by the standards of the international laws of war, that the allied powers during WWII certainly did commit extensive war crimes when they deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects while fire-bombing cities in Germany and Japan. There is no doubt about that. The fact that he is unable to comprehend this is further evidence of how his ideological commitments take precedence over international law and the principle of universality.

But what is most disturbing here is that Boot derides the fact that in the Goldstone Report, Israel's alleged crimes were equated with alleged Palestinian crimes, that the report assessed the facts using international law as a standard for both parties. He then makes an implicit comparison between the Nazis and the Palestinians, noting that it is unfair to equate Hitler's crimes with the allies' crimes because Hitler's were much worse, implying that it is wrong to equate Hamas's killing of three civilians and a handful of invading soldiers with Israel's slaughter of 1,400 Palestinians, including over 300 innocent children on the basis that Hamas's crimes are much worse. In light of the most bare and uncontroversial facts about the Gaza massacre, it is beyond comprehension how Boot could compare the feeble and virtually inconsequential actions of the leadership of a besieged and occupied people with the Nazis and Adolph Hitler who systematically murdered six million defenseless Jews. This is even more perplexing when considering it in the context of an Israeli massacre of over 1,000 civilians in a twenty-two day period, which was far more Nazi-like than anything the Palestinians could ever contemplate.

Furthermore, where is the context of these events in Boot's commentary? The Palestinians are living under a horrifically brutal foreign military occupation and have been for over forty years. For years, Gaza has been subjected to a draconian economic blockade--literally, an "act of war" under international law--denounced as "collective punishment"--a major war crime—by every relevant commentator in the international legal community. Boot ridicules the UN's labeling of Gaza as "occupied territory" in light of Israel's 2005 removal of its troops and settlers from the Strip. Boot is so far out of the mainstream that he hasn't read the tirelessly documented and examined UN reports, legal analyses, and rights groups' reports which all categorically label Gaza as "occupied territory" despite the so-called "disengagement." [8] The best example of such a study is the report and analysis, "Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza," authored by the Israeli group, Gisha: Legal Center For Freedom of Movement. [9]

At any rate, it's irrelevant because the West Bank and Gaza Strip constitute one territorial entity according to the Oslo "peace process" agreements as well as the International Court of Justice's 2004 ruling. There is no controversy on this issue whatsoever as far as the relevant bodies of law and monitoring are concerned.

Right of Return

Finally, Boot also castigates the report for making note of Israel's continued barring of refugees to return to Israel and/or the occupied territories. Boot is again way out of the mainstream on this one too. The 13 th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." UNSC Resolution 194 (passed with US support) specifically makes it the legal right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. Every human rights group is unanimously in agreement on this issue. There is absolutely no controversy regarding the legal right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Even though it is well known that a full Palestinian return may be politically impossible, this does not give anyone a right to dismiss this score human right of Palestinians as irrelevant or illegitimate as an issue to be negotiated upon with Israel. When Boot dismisses the Palestinian right of return as something that would "destroy Israel demographically," it is nothing more than a wildly racist statement.


Boot's commentary on the massacre in Gaza amounts to some of the most vulgar apologetics for egregious war crimes that one could imagine. Even the smallest amount of common sense and the most cursory glance at the documentary record and international law reveals this to be true.

Instead of making obscure rationalizations for murdering innocent people, Boot and other apologists for American and Israeli crimes should denounce all war crimes, demand justice for the victims, and applaud the fact that global civil society has erected a body of international law designed to minimize the suffering of civilians during armed conflicts and to establish basic norms and laws regarding fundamental human rights.

- Max Kantar is a freelance writer. He contributed this article to Contact him at:


[1] Max Boot, "The Goldstone Report," Commentary Magazine, September 16, 2009.

[2] Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, "The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement," December 2008, 2, 6, 7.

[3] Max Kantar, "The Massacre in Gaza: Check the Facts," The Palestine Chronicle, January 14, 2009.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Breaking the Silence: Soldiers' Testimonies from Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2009. All of the following quotes in this paper from Israeli soldiers were found in this compilation of testimonies.

[6] "Palestinians: Final Gaza Toll shows 960 civilians killed," Ynet, March 12, 2009.

[7] B'Tselem, "B'Tselem's Investigation of fatalities in Operation Cast Lead."

[8] Jake Hess, "Palestine since disengagement," Znet, August 24, 2007. This article includes several citations of rights groups and UN officials categorizing the Gaza Strip officially as "occupied territory" despite Israel's "disengagement."[9] Gisha, "Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza," January 2007, 64, 65, 71.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Obama e Netanyahu: a drama e a farca

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Obama and Netanyahu: The Drama and the Farce

Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step.

By Uri Avnery - Israel

No point denying it: in the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten.

Obama demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states – Israel and Palestine.

In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The President of the United States has stumbled.

The threefold summit did indeed take place. But instead of a shining achievement for the new American administration, we witnessed a humbling demonstration of weakness. After Obama was compelled to give up his demand for a settlement freeze, the meeting no longer had any content.

True, Mahmoud Abbas did come, after all. He was dragged there against his will. The poor man was unable to refuse the invitation from Obama, his only support. But he will pay a heavy price for this flight: the Palestinians, and the entire Arab world, have seen his weakness. And Obama, who had started his term with a ringing speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, now looks like a broken reed.

The Israeli peace movement has been dealt another painful blow. It had pinned its hopes on the steadfastness of the American president. Obama’s victory and the settlement freeze were to show the Israeli public that the refusal policy of Netanyahu was leading to disaster.

But Netanyahu has won, and in a big way. Not only did he survive, not only has he shown that he is no “sucker” (a word he uses all the time), he has proven to his people – and to the public at large – that there is nothing to fear: Obama is nothing but a paper tiger. The settlements can go on expanding without hindrance. Any negotiations that start, if they start at all, can go on until the coming of the Messiah. Nothing will come out of them.

For Netanyahu, the threat of peace has passed. At least for the time being.

It is difficult to understand how Obama allowed himself to get into this embarrassing situation.

Machiavelli taught that one should not challenge a lion unless one is able to kill him. And Netanyahu is not even a lion, just a fox.

Why did Obama insist on the settlement freeze – in itself a very reasonable demand – if he was unable to stand his ground? Or, in other words, if he was unable to impose it on Netanyahu?

Before entering into such a campaign, a statesman must weigh up the array of forces: What power is at my disposal? What forces are confronting me? How determined is the other side? What means am I ready to employ? How far am I prepared to go in using my power?

Obama has a host of able advisors, headed by Rahm Emanuel, whose Israeli origins (and name) were supposed to give him special insights. George Mitchell, a hard-nosed and experienced diplomat, was supposed to provide sober assessments. How did they all fail?

Logic would say that Obama, before entering the fray, should have decided which instruments of pressure to employ. The arsenal is inexhaustible – from a threat by the US not to shield the Israeli government with its veto in the Security Council, to delaying the next shipment of arms. In 1992 James Baker, George Bush Sr’s Secretary of State, threatened to withhold American guarantees for Israel’s loans abroad. That was enough to drag even Yitzhak Shamir to the Madrid conference.

It seems that Obama was either unable or unwilling to exert such pressures, even secretly, even behind the scenes. This week he allowed the American navy to conduct major joint war-games with the Israeli Air Force.

Some people hoped that Obama would use the Goldstone report to exert pressure on Netanyahu. Just one hint that the US might not use its veto in the Security Council would have sown panic in Jerusalem. Instead, Washington published a statement on the report, dutifully toeing the Israeli propaganda line.

True, it is hard for the US to condemn war crimes that are so similar to those committed by its own soldiers. If Israeli commanders are put on trial in The Hague, American generals may be next in line. Until now, only the losers in wars were indicted. What will the world come to if those who remain in office are also accused?

The inescapable conclusion is that Obama’s defeat is the outcome of a faulty assessment of the situation. His advisors, who are considered seasoned politicians, were wrong about the forces involved.

That has happened already in the crucial health insurance debate. The opposition is far stronger than anticipated by Obama’s people. In order to get out of this mess somehow, Obama needs the support of every senator and congressman he can lay his hands on. That automatically strengthens the position of the pro-Israel lobby, which already has immense influence in Congress.

The last thing that Obama needs at this moment is a declaration of war by AIPAC and Co. Netanyahu, an expert on domestic American politics, scented Obama’s weakness and exploited it.

Obama could do nothing but gnash his teeth and fold up.

That debacle is especially painful at this precise point in time. The impression is rapidly gaining ground that he is indeed an inspiring speaker with an uplifting message, but a weak politician, unable to turn his vision into reality. If this view of him firms up, it may cast a shadow over his whole term.

But is Netanyahu’s policy wise from the Israeli point of view?

This may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.

Obama will not disappear. He has three and a half years in office before him, and thereafter perhaps four more. That’s a lot of time to plan revenge for someone hurt and humiliated at a delicate moment, at the beginning of his term of office.

One cannot know, of course, what is happening in the depths of Obama’s heart and in the back of his mind. He is an introvert who keeps his cards close to his chest. His many years as a young black man in the United States have probably taught him to keep his feelings to himself.

He may draw the conclusion, in the footsteps of all his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower (except Father Bush during Baker’s short stint as hatchet man): Don’t Mess With Israel. With the help of its partners and servants in the US, it can cause grievous harm to any President.

But he may also draw the opposite conclusion: Wait for the right opportunity, when your standing in the domestic arena is solid, and pay Netanyahu back with interest. If that happens, Netanyahu’s air of victory may turn out to be premature.

If I were asked for advice (not to worry, it won’t happen), I would tell him:

The forging of Israeli-Palestinian peace would mean a historic turnabout, a reversal of a 120 year old trend. That is not an easy operation, not to be undertaken lightly. It is not a matter for diplomats and secretaries. It demands a determined leader with a stout heart and a steady hand. If one is not ready for it, one should not even start.

An American President who wants to undertake such a role must formulate a clear and detailed peace plan, with a strict timetable, and be prepared to invest all his resources and all his political capital in its realization. Among other things, he must be ready to confront, face to face, the powerful pro-Israel lobby.

This will not succeed unless public opinion in Israel, Palestine, the Arab world, the United States and the whole world is thoroughly prepared well in advance. It will not succeed without an effective Israeli peace movement, without strong support from US public opinion, especially Jewish-American opinion, without a strong Palestinian leadership and without Arab unity.

At the appropriate moment, the President of the United States must come to Jerusalem and address the Israeli public from the Knesset rostrum, like Anwar Sadat and President Jimmy Carter before him, as well as the Palestinian parliament, like President Bill Clinton.

I don’t know if Obama is the man. Some in the peace camp have already given up on him, which effectively means that they have despaired of peace as such. I am not ready for this. One battle rarely decides a war, and one mistake does not foretell the future. A lost battle can steel the loser, a mistake can teach a valuable lesson.

In one of his essays, Karl Marx said that when history repeats itself: The first time it is as tragedy, the second time it is as farce.

The 2000 threefold summit meeting at Camp David was high drama. Many hopes were pinned on it, success seemed to be within reach, but in the end it collapsed, with the participants blaming each other.

The 2009 Waldorf-Astoria summit was the farce.

- Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He contributed this article to

O governo espanhol afasta de um concurso uma universidade israelita baseada nos territórios palestinianos ocupados


O governo espanhol acaba de recusar que a universidade de Ariel, situada num colonato israelita na Cisjordânia, participe num concurso internacional organizado pela Espanha sobre a “casa solar”.

O ministro espanhol do Alojamento desqualificou o “Centro Universitário de Samaria”, no colonato de Ariel na Cisjordânia, da competição final do concurso internacional aberto aos departamentos universitários de arquitectura para desenhar e construir casas auto-suficientes que utilizem a energia solar.

Sergi Vega, director do concurso “Solar Decathlon”, apadrinhado pela Espanha, escreveu à Universidade de Ariel: “A decisão foi tomada pelo governo espanhol porque a vossa universidade está situada num território ocupado da Cisjordânia. O governo espanhol comprometeu-se em apoiar o acordo internacional no âmbito da União Europeia e das Nações Unidas respeitante a esta zona geográfica”.

O centro universitário de Ariel ficou colocado na final deste concurso juntamente com 22 outras universidades mundiais, após dois anos de colaboração com os organizadores da competição e o governo espanhol. Nesse âmbito, a universidade chegou a receber uma bolsa de 100.000 euros dos organizadores do concurso para a construção de um protótipo de casa para a competição final, prevista para Madrid em Junho de 2010.

A anulação da participação da equipa israelita na competição foi reclamada por iniciativa da associação "Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine" (Arquitectos e promotores para a justiça na Palestina), a fim de se juntar ao apelo ao boicote universitário lançado contra Israel pelo Comité palestiniano (Campanha de Boicote, Desinvestimento e Sanções).

Rejeitamos com desprezo a declaração parcial que recebemos do Ministério espanhol do Alojamento”, declarou a direcção da universidade ilegalmente instalada em território palestiniano.

Publicado por CAPJPO-EuroPalestine, em 22-09-2009


o Eid em Gaza

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

uma "licença de visita".....


De-developing Palestine, one "visit permit" at a time
Rima Merriman writing from Jenin, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 22 September 2009

I am an American citizen of Palestinian descent and have been employed by the Arab American University-Jenin (AAUJ) in the occupied West Bank as an assistant professor of American literature for the past two and a half years. This month, while attempting to re-enter the West Bank through the land border with Jordan to start the academic year, I was denied re-entry by the Israeli authorities and questioned at length about my Palestinian heritage. The stated reason for the denial was that I had broken the law.

Through the office of a lawyer in Jerusalem that AAUJ had to hire at great cost and the support of the Israeli Committee for Residency Rights and the Palestinian Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as efforts initiated by the US consulate and AMIDEAST, I am now back in Jenin.

I have managed to avoid the fate of Dr. Stacy Krainz, also an American citizen and the former chair of the English Department at AAUJ, who left on vacation in 2006-2007 only to be denied re-entry and disappear forever and, in the process, incapacitate teaching and learning at the fledgling department for some time to come. She too was told that she had broken the law.

Despite my re-entry, my problems and the problems of my international colleagues employed by Palestinian universities are far from over. Internationals employed by Palestinian universities are deliberately issued the kind of visa that puts us in a de facto illegal status; it's even stamped with "not permitted to work". Alternatively, we are denied entry at the border on the basis that we do not have a work permit, but at the same time, in a Kafkaesque twist, there is no mechanism by which we can get a work permit.

AAUJ expects to renew my restricted "visit permit" when it expires in three months through an Israeli administrative office at the Bet El settlement near Ramallah. I will be issued, as in the past, a tourist visa stamped with "not permitted to work" or one that implies, by its very nature, that paid employment on my part is illegal.

Additional difficulties involve the kind of "visit permit" I have been issued, which is now stamped with "Palestinian Authority only," referring to those discontiguous islands of land in the West Bank determined by the Oslo accords to be under Palestinian semi-autonomy. The trouble is that Israel keeps these violations of my rights as an American citizen and of the rights of Palestinian institutions to build their capacity within the "the forms of law." Such gross violations ought not to be tolerated.

Within the forms of Israeli law, I and all of my international colleagues at AAUJ and at other Palestinian universities are now illegally employed and subject to whatever penalties Israel wishes to apply, such as abrupt denial of re-entry. What's more, my "PA only visa" restricts me to stay and travel but not to work in 40 percent of the West Bank. Within the forms of Israeli law, I and my colleagues could be subject to a penalty at any time.

International academics at Palestinian universities are entitled to know what the mechanism is by which we can enter. Why is there no procedure for me and my colleagues to get work permits for the West Bank through the university at which we work? How can I, as an American citizen with a permit to PA areas only, visit the relatives I have in Haifa, inside Israel?

So far this semester, my American colleagues who entered through Tel Aviv have been given visit permits not limited to PA areas only, even though they have shown their contract with AAUJ at the border and honestly declared the purpose of their stay. My case, and the case of another American academic who teaches at Birzeit University near Ramallah and who was also denied re-entry to resume his post, has another layer of complication. We are Americans of Palestinian descent. This apparently gives Israeli authority the right to belittle our nationality.

I have been writing Consul General Daniel Rubenstein at the US consulate in Jerusalem and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, asking them to safeguard the integrity of my American nationality and all that it entails. My American and other international colleagues and I are waiting for answers from our respective consulates regarding our current legal dilemmas as professionals in the occupied West Bank. We need a mechanism by which Palestinian universities (and by extension all Palestinian development institutions) can apply for work permits for the international staff they hire.

Rima Merriman is assistant professor in the Modern Languages Department at the Arab American University - Jenin.

o tempo de romper com o dilema da partição

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Time to Break Free from Partition Straightjacket

...Peace-seekers must dare to speak openly and honestly of the 'Zionism problem'. By John V. Whitbeck

The desperate and desultory New York 'summit' among Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and the evident capitulation of Obama to Israeli defiance of even his minimalist effort to achieve mere maintenance of the status quo have left most observers who genuinely seek peace with some measure of justice in an understandable state of despair.

However, there is an alternative to despair -- breaking free from the partition straitjacket and runaround and demanding democracy and equal rights for all in the unitary state which, de facto, has already existed for the past 42 years.

If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ever to be solved, peace-seekers must dare to speak openly and honestly of the "Zionism problem" -- and then to draw the moral, ethical and practical conclusions which follow.

When South Africa was under a racial-supremicist, settler-colonial regime, the world recognized that the problem was the ideology and political system of the state.

The world also recognized that the solution to that problem could not be found either in "separation" (apartheid in Afrikaans) and scattered native reservations (called "independent states" by the South African regime and "Bantustans" by the rest of the world) or in driving the settler-colonial group in power into the sea. Rather, the solution had to be found -- and, to almost universal satisfaction and relief, was found -- in democracy, in white South Africans growing out of their racial-supremicist ideology and political system and accepting that their interests and their children's futures would be best served in a democratic, non-racist state with equal rights for all who live there.

The solution for the land which, until it was literally wiped off the map in 1948, was called Palestine is the same. It can only be democracy.

The ever-receding "political horizon" for a decent "two-state solution", which, on the ground, becomes less practical with each passing year of expanding settlements, bypass roads and walls, is weighed down by a multitude of excruciatingly difficult "final status" issues which Israeli governments have consistently refused to discuss seriously, preferring to postpone them to the end of a road which is never reached -- and which, almost certainly, is intended never to be reached.

Just as marriage is vastly less complicated than divorce, democracy is vastly less complicated than partition. A democratic post-Zionist solution would not require any borders to be agreed, any division of Jerusalem, anyone to move from his current home or any assets to be evaluated and apportioned. Full rights of citizenship would simply be extended to all the surviving natives still living in the country, as happened in the United States in the early 20th century and in South Africa in the late 20th century.

The obstacle to such a simple -- and morally unimpeachable -- solution is, of course, intellectual and psychological. Traumatized by the Holocaust and perceived insecurity as a Jewish island in an Arab sea, Israelis have immense psychological problems in coming to grips with the practical impossibility of sustaining eternally what most of mankind, composed as it is of peoples who have themselves been victims of colonialism and racism, view as an abomination -- a racial-supremicist, settler-colonial regime founded upon the ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population.

Perhaps this New York "summit" will be the last gasp of the fruitless pursuit of a separationist solution for those who live, and will continue to live, in the "Holy Land". Perhaps those who care about justice and peace and believe in democracy can then find ways to stimulate Israelis to move beyond Zionist ideology and attitudes toward a more humanistic, humane, hopeful and democratic view of present realities and future possibilities.

No one would suggest that the moral, ethical and intellectual transformation necessary to achieve a decent "one-state solution" will be easy. However, now even more than ever before, informed people must recognize that a decent "two-state solution" has become impossible.

It is surely time for concerned people everywhere -- and particularly for Americans -- to imagine a better way, to encourage Israelis to imagine a better way and to help both Israelis and Palestinians to achieve it. It is surely time to seriously consider democracy and to give it a chance.

- John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel, is author of "The World According to Whitbeck". He contributed this article to

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Ameaças trilateral: obstáculos para Obama no Médio Oriente

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

By James Gundun

With expectations building to unrealistic proportions, American, Israeli, and Palestinians officials have started downplaying the looming tripartite summit on the UN sidelines. All sides insist the meeting isn’t a resumption of negotiations, though America seems eager to press the possibility.

While one official said, ‘These three leaders are going to sit down in the same room and continue to narrow the gaps,’ the Israeli press questioned President Obama’s motives and called the assembly a ‘tea or coffee’ meeting.

Though Israelis and Palestinians will likely stay frozen in brinkmanship, a propensity for disinformation and diplomatic posturing makes for a dangerous gauntlet. Obama must stay level headed and understand the limitations of his presence, unless he has some trick up his sleeve. Since a settlement freeze is unlikely from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t have the breathing room to cave, the three men will likely exit the room as they went in.

The situation is frozen, in part, by a trio of threats Obama is unlikely to mention but must ultimately confront if he wants to sign a two-state solution.

Netanyahu, to his credit, is an open book. His personal opposition to a settlement freeze, refugee return, and division of Jerusalem are well chronicled. One of his officials told Ynet News, ‘The prime minister is ready to launch negotiations without preconditions, in order to promote peace with the Palestinians. He doesn't want the Palestinians to be citizens of Israel or under its rule.’ But Netanyahu and his political base aren’t the only opposition to concessions - Israel may have the most anti-Obama public in the world.

A string of Jerusalem Post polls showing a 4% approval rating probably isn’t an accurate portrait, but they deliver the point. Only 12% of Israelis believe Obama is supportive of Israel, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, and only 35% believe Israel would benefit from American intervention. 54% oppose the Arab Peace Initiative, the basis of Obama’s plan, and 52% oppose making concessions to implement it. Aside from real disagreement with his policies, the Israeli public believes that Obama is exploiting them to gain popularity with Muslims.

As such, Obama must be every bit as aware and sympathetic to Israelis as Palestinians and not tilt the pressure to either side. Obama’s challenge isn’t envious. He must convince Israelis and Palestinians to compromise without looking like he’s favoring one side. A trip to Jerusalem and a speech to all faiths could prove beneficial. The need for Palestinian support goes without saying, but he needs to befriend the Israeli people if he wants to soften their leaders' positions.

Unfortunately another threat will win him few friends in Israel. Hamas, a glaring hole in Obama's meeting, cracks a little more each time Obama rejects its diplomatic outreach. The rockets have relatively stopped and though captured soldier Gilad Shalit has yet to see daylight, Hamas hasn’t quit on negotiations. Ignoring Hamas leadership seems especially dangerous given how entrenched the movement is. Obama can’t expect such nice words to last long.

Hamas Prime Minister Ishmail Haniyeh instantly condemned America’s blackballing as ‘no different that other administrations.’ He warned, ‘No one has the right to give up on Jerusalem or the (Palestinian) refugees. Not the PLO and no any other factor can sign an agreement hurting the Palestinian people's principles and rights. Any agreement reached will not be respected by our people.’

But while Haniyeh means what he says, the door will likely remain open until Obama fully shuts it. Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is seeking a dialogue, insisting, ‘We're not courting anyone, but we are dealing with matters with openness and realism... As long as there's a new language, we welcome it. But we want to see not only a change of language, but also a change of policies on the ground. We have said that we are prepared to cooperate with the US or any other international party that would enable the Palestinians to get rid of occupation.’

Obama can’t hope for any more of an opportunity. Hamas isn’t going to lay down its arms until the process starts moving, but rejecting Hamas outright will sabotage a two-state solution. First, simply holding control of Gaza will stall a Palestinian state and any violence will cripple negotiations. Second, Hamas and Fatah have tentatively agreed to elections in 2010. While Hamas is losing popularity, its support is enough to retain political power. In its most recent survey, the PCPSR found that Abbas leads Haniyeh 52% to 38%, not nearly enough marginalize Hamas.

Like with Hezbollah in Lebanon, America must deal with Hamas to deal with Palestine. Hamas may take on unique significance because the greatest threat of all to President Obama’s hope of a two-state solution is the blockade of Gaza. Simply put, there can be no Palestine while the blockade exists.

But bringing it down requires aligning contradictions. Israel must feel confident of its security which means engaging Hamas to neutralize the threat. Obama must advance negotiations but the blockade hinders them. The White House condemned the UN’s investigation into the Gaza war, but this is especially foolish given that Obama advocates empowering the UN and is hosting his meeting on its sidelines. Though he must improve relations in Israel, Obama must face reality in Gaza, but prosecuting Israeli and Hamas officials will destroy his support. So goes life in the Middle East.

Israelis, Hamas, and the Gaza blockade aren't on the menu Tuesday, but their presence weighs heavily on Obama.

- James Gundun is a political scientist and counterinsurgency analyst based in Washington D.C. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

FDLP diz que o encontro tripartite é inútil e semeia ilusões

fonte:somos todos palestinos

A margem da reunião da Assembléia Geral dasa Nações Unidas, a Casa Branca anunciou um encontro tripartite , Obama, Abas e Netanyahu, em Nova York .
A FDLP declara que este encontro é absolutamente inútil , uma vez que Israel mantém e prossegue com a colonização em Jerusalém e na Cisjordânia ocupada; semeia a ilusão na opinião pública e nos países integrantes da Assembléia Geral; enfraquece a Campanha do Bloqueio Internacional imposto sobre o governo de direita e ultra direita de Netanyahu. Além de encobrir às políticas agressivas expansionistas do sionismo em Jerusalém e Cisjordânia e o Bloqueio à Faixa de Gaza
A FDLP enviou na manhã de 18 de setembro, uma mensagem ao presidente da Autoridade Nacional, Mahamoud Abbas, se posicionando contra sua ida a tal encontro tripartite, uma vez que continua a construção dos assentamentos mesmo depois da do enviado americano George Mitchel ter como missão justamente deter as construções.
A mensagem enviada a ANP não só rechaça o anuncio político tripartite visando o reatamento das conversações como a posição de exigir que se detenha imediatamente a expansão colonial antes das negociações se iniciarem.
As resoluções de unidade nacional do Comitê Executivo da OLP determina exatamente isso: “ Não há negociações antes de se deter totalmente o colonialismo”
A declaração convoca os países árabes a tomar posição unida de apoio ao povo palestino no sentido de paralisar totalmente a expansão colonial e rechaçar “ a normalização” das relações com o governo sionista, assim como insistir que o ocupante abandone os territórios árabes e palestinos ocupados em 1967 e se garanta os direitos nacionais do povo palestino a autodeterminação, o Estado independente com Jerusalém capital e o retorno de todos os refugiados, resolução 194 das nações Unidas.
Oficina Central de Información del
Frente Democrático para la Liberación de Palestina
21 de septiembre del 2009

Gaza nao espera nada


Gaza: Expect Nothing

Israeli military rebuffed a Palestinian request to allow new goods into the Gaza Strip which has been under a tight blockade for more than two years, a Palestinian official said Saturday (Sep. 19). "The Israeli officials told us that no new items would enter Gaza," said Ra'ed Fatouh, Gaza commercial crossings coordinator, in a statement sent to media. The new goods include cloths, shoes and sweets that Muslim people need to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival which starts Sunday marking the end of the Ramadan fasting month. Fatouh added that the Israeli officials, who met with the Palestinians coordinators at Erez crossing on Thursday, stressed that no more facilities or cargo shipments to Gaza would be taken. Fatouh said that only 32 types of products and commodities are allowed into Gaza these days, compared to more than 400 items in pre-siege period. During the meeting, the Israelis "have asked us not to expect any progress in the amount and sorts of the goods to Gaza as long as the situation (the soldier issue) remains the same," he added. (Reference for text: Xinhua. Photo: Via

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Eles gostam de chamar-lhe uma guerra

fonte: Palestine Chronicle

They Like to Call it a War

In this chauvinistic state of my forefathers the terror attack on Gaza is called a war. By Miko Peled

48 hours after I landed the reality of this land, a land that people like to call holy, began taking its toll on me. The movie 'Boy In Stripped Pajamas' came to mind as I played with my kids in the pool of Kibbutz Zikkim. This beautiful pastoral little kibbutz or agricultural commune, is on the Mediterranean coast just a stone’s throw from Gaza to the north.

It’s only been about six months since my last visit here, just as Israel was preparing to launch its latest sadistic terror attack on the civilian population of Gaza, a population whose average age is 15.5, a population of innocent children. I visited Zikkim then because after all, it is the home of my in-laws, the place where my wife was born and raised.

In this chauvinistic state created by my forefathers the terror attack on Gaza is called a war. It is much easier that way for the consciences to bear. After all, fighting an enemy that possess tanks and war planes, artillery and sophisticated weapons, smart bombs and air to air missiles, along with anti aircraft and anti tank weapons is a great deal more heroic than to massacre innocent children, women and men who are defenseless, have no means of escape and no means of fighting back. But of course the reality is that the Israeli army, that sadistic military force that has made a name for itself over the last sixty years as a force to be reckoned with, is in fact no more than a shameless army of cowards lead by a junta of brutal, sadistic racists.

Instead of the patronizing call we constantly hear for a “Palestinian Gandhi” one would hope to see the emergence of international support for a Palestinian Patrick Henry. The call “Give me liberty or give me death” awakens strong emotions even today, more than 320 yeas after Patrick Henry gave the speech that crystallized perhaps more than any the American colonies call for independence from the English crown.

There has never been, not is it likely that an occupying power will ever relinquish its domination willingly. Israel is not different. Not only is Israel not likely to end its iron rule over Palestine and its people, it is placing all of its effort to make Greater Israel a permanent and irreversible reality. So while Patrick Henry’s was a call for arms, in the case of the Palestinian struggle the call should be for a more sophisticated and more effective national struggle.

There is nothing Israel likes better than a military confrontation, and the Israeli “security” forces go out of their way to blame Palestinian for initiating violence so as to justify their own brutality. But a violent struggle only helps the oppressor and it is in fact a statement of despair.

Three clear goals struggle on which the struggle would do well to focus could be as follows:

  1. Granting all Palestinians full equal rights with Israelis.
  2. Granting Palestinians unrestricted freedom of movement within Israel/Palestine.
  3. Reigning in the Israeli forces and withdrawing them of from population centers.
Until these conditions are met, Palestinians have no reason to negotiate or cooperate with the Israeli authorities. Until they are met there needs to be a concerted effort to isolate Israel, and to initiate a struggle that defies its laws and undermines it authority. Israel profits greatly from Palestinians who are forced to apply and pay for permits and licenses; Israel profits from Palestinians who are forced to buy Israeli products. Haaretz newspaper recently reported on the huge profits that Israeli farmers and government agents make as a result of the siege imposed on Gaza. An effort can focus on the idea, also made famous during the American Revolution that there can be “no taxation without representation” calling for defiance of the Israeli authorities and boycott of Israeli products and goods.

Those who still believe in a negotiated settlement with Israel on the basis of two states should read the following lines from Patrick Henry’s famous speech: “It is natural for men to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth…Are we disposed to be of the number of those who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not…”

In the long run, the best possible outcome for Israelis and Palestinians is a pluralistic democracy where people’s rights are protected by a constitution and the rule of law. Israelis and Palestinians, by virtue of their sharing a homeland are fellow countrymen. As such they are deserving of the same rights and share the same responsibilities. Their first responsibility is to engage in a struggle to bring an end to the apartheid regime that holds them both in a seemingly endless struggle, and to cooperate as equals for a better future.

- Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and peace activist living in San Diego. His father was the later Israeli General, Matti Peled who was also the first Israeli military Governor of Gaza. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

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